CDC says state obesity rates are once again alarming but new studies show being a little overweight may not be so bad; Weight Watchers International CEO David Kirchhoff on the dangers of obesity and how we can stem the tide in America
Americans are losing the battle of the bulge.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently said the state obesity rates range from a low 20.7 percent in Colorado to 34.9 percent in Mississippi. Over the past decade, obesity has become recognized as a national health threat and a major public health challenge; more than one-third of all Americans are overweight.
However, more recent research shows that being a bit on the heavy side may actually cut your risk of dying prematurely. So what to do with this somewhat contradictory news? There’s no doubt about the fact that you still need to do what you can to stay healthy and fit – and to eat right for optimum health.
genConnect has spoken with several high-profile weight and health-care experts on what can be done to make Americans healthier, and how those efforts can help the U.S. health care system.
David Kirchhoff, for example, CEO of Weight Watchers International, says “what we now recognize, and I think what the world is starting to recognize, is obesity is a much more significant health issue” than we previously thought.
Watch our entire interview with David Kirchhoff below as he talks about the dangers of obesity:
Obesity is among the top causes of cardiovascular disease, some forms of cancer, and other diseases. “It is one of the overall driving issues that is going to continue making our health care system more problematic, not less. We think its imminently solvable, but it’s not easy,” Kirchhoff said.
He explained that changing the obesity tide requires engaging in the “messy business“ of convincing more than 150 million Americans to “fundamentally change the way they live and start living in a healthier way.”
The CDC study released this fall said no state had a prevalence of adult obesity less than 20 percent, and 12 states (Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of 30 percent or more. The South had the highest rate of adult obesity (29.5 percent), followed by the Midwest (29 percent), the Northeast (25.3 percent) and the West (24.3 percent).
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